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State warns that Walleye Fest participants arent being properly warned of toxic dangers [View All]

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steven johnson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-01-09 01:31 AM
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According to state officials, Tittabawassee Township has resisted posting needed fish advisory signs in Freeland Festival Park ground zero for this weekends walleye celebration.

Allan Taylor, a geologist with the Department of Environmental Qualitys waste and hazardous materials division who has been working on dioxin contamination issues in the area since 1991, told Michigan Messenger that he feels the current level of signage is inadequate, especially since the posted signs have outdated information about the risks associated with walleye consumption.
Officials say that under an agreement with the state, Dow Chemical, which is responsible for the watersheds dioxin contamination, promised to pay for fish advisory signs but has balked at fulfilling this agreement and has refused to provide necessary funds. Mary Draves, spokeswoman for Dow Chemical acknowledged that the company has come to an impasse with the DEQ over funding for fish advisory signs.

An expensive remediation project involving removal and replacement of topsoil was completed in the park in 2005, but periodic river flooding means some areas may be contaminated with dangerous levels of dioxin, as is the case with a nearby park in Saginaw Township where the EPA is supervising removal of soil that contained dioxin at concentrations as as high as 5,900 parts per trillion. The states safe level for dioxin is 90 parts per trillion.
Visitors to the Freeland park could potentially be exposed to dioxin levels in excess of the state safety standards, Taylor said. In a 2007 letter to Tittabawassee Township officials, the DEQ urged additional signs and cleanup at the park and noted a soil sample showed dioxin at 5,000 parts per trillion.

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